RAJKOT, GUJARAT: The carcasses of 11 lions were found in the Gir forest of Gujarat. According to the officials, this has prompted the Gujarat state government to order an inquiry.
The dead lions were located in the East division of the Gir forest, mainly from the Dalkhaniya range.
The deputy Conservator of Forest, Gir (east) P Purushothama said, “We have found carcasses of 11 lions from Gir east forest range,”. For the purpose of administration the Gir forest is divided in west and east divisions.
As per a senior official, a carcass of a lioness was located in a forest close to Rajula of Amreli on Wednesday, while three lions were found dead in Dalkhaniya range in the Gir forest.
Carcasses of seven more lions were also found in the Gir forest in the last few days, he added.
“We have collected viscera samples of the dead animals and sent them to the Junagadh Veterinary Hospital and are waiting for the postmortem report,” he said.
Dr.Rajiv Kumar Gupta who is the chief secretary of the Forest and Environment Department states that the Gujarat state government has ordered an inquiry which would take place under the principal chief conservator of forest (wildllife).
“Primary information shows that eight deaths have occurred due to infighting. For the rest three, postmortem reports are awaited,” Mr Gupta said.
PCCF wildlife A K Saxena, who reached the Gir forest quickly, told that most of the lions died because of infighting and resultant injuries.
“Most of the deaths are due to infighting and injuries caused thereby, mainly affecting cubs and females. This trend is being noticed over a period of three to four years. No foul play or suspicion is suspected,” Mr Saxena added.
As per the 2015 census, Gir forest is a home to a total of 520 lions.
Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani said on Thursday that an inquiry must be conducted to check if the occurence of deaths were due to poisoning , electrocution or poaching.